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Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 11:28 AM UTC

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SINAPROC Cancels "Green Alert" for Chiriqui

WeatherThe National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), through a press release, informed the media and the public that they have cancelled the "Green Alert" for the province of Chiriqui, and they have lowered that to a "Preventive Alert", product of a cold front from United States which could cause the rains like those occurring this morning in the provinces of Colón and Darién. The SINAPROC recommend that people should follow instructions and notices from the institution issued through the media and social networks. Yesterday, school classes were suspended in Boquete due to the flooding of the Caldera river in Chiriqui. (Critica)

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SINAPROC Warns Of Higher Than Normal Tides During Carnival

WeatherThe National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) informs the public through a press release that there will be very high tides on the Pacific from Friday, 17 February through Wednesday, 22 February 2012. This notice issued by Sinaproc prevention specifically targets communities living near the sea, among them; the Las Perlas islands, the Darién, Boca la Caja, in Panamá in La Chorrera Playa Leona, Puerto Caimito, Farallón, and in the provinces of Coclé (Aguadulce), Veraguas and Chiriquí. The tides on the Pacific will reach up to 15.7 feet. (Critica)

Editor's Comment: There's a tool on the right hand side of the Panama Guide website that shows you the current tides in the Pacific...

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SINAPROC Recommends People To Take Precautions Due To Heavy Rains and Flooding

WeatherUnstable weather conditions persist and Panamanians have to be vigilant for any emergency that might be caused by the constant rains, that so far have caused flooding in the province of Bocas de Toro, and in the Darien they will maintain a "Green Alert" in the Darien, said Monday the director of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), Arturo Alvarado. "The forecasts are imprecise because the rain system we are facing is not normal," he said, while asking citizens living in areas close to rivers, streams or prone to landslides, to remain alert. Alvarado also recommends that in these days people should not swim in rivers and beaches. The SINAPROC continues to send humanitarian aid from the National Government to the communities most affected by the heavy rains and flooding. (Estrella)

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Panama Canal Authority Will Dump More Excess Water From Lakes Gatun and Alajuela

WeatherThe Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced they will conduct additional spills of water at the dams on lakes Gatun and Alajuela to shed excess water that has accumulated due to the heavy rains that have occurred within the hydro graphic basin of the Panama Canal. Both Gatun and Alajuela lakes are at their maximum levels, said the ACP in a press release. Before the spills as a prevention measure the ACP will sound warning sirens to alert those communities that are downstream to take the appropriate precautions, and they advised those communities to be alert for the sound of the sirens. The region of the Panama Canal watershed is under the influence of a zone of instability associated with a cold front and the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is causing heavy rains. Because of this situation the ACP has conducted other spills of water in recent days as a prevention in both lake Gatun and Alajuela in order to maintain the reservoirs within their operational levels, the statement said. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Also, the effect of La Niña ENSO conditions is causing additional heavy rains in Panama as well. Normally by now on 19 December we are fully into the dry season. The arrival of the dry season is being delayed by the weather conditions, and several months ago experts predicted we might not see much of a dry season at all this year.

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SINAPROC Declares Green Alert Due To Rains and Flooding in Darien

WeatherThe Director of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) Arturo Alvarado De Icaza said on Friday, 16 December 2011, declared a "green alert" due to heavy rains that have fallen in recent hours in the province of Darien which has affected many communities. He said the Biroquerà and Coco rivers in Yavisa are at flood stage. They will continue with their ongoing monitoring operations of these vulnerable areas, and they have deployed Emergency Response Personnel from the province to these areas affected by flooding. The staff of the National Civil Protection System maintains a constant 24 monitoring or watch center, and in case of an emergency you can call *335 from any cell phone or land line. (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: You might want to make a note of that *335 SINAPROC Emergency Telephone number. You can call them for just about anything - you're driving along and there's a landslide that blocks the road, someone goes overboard and is lost in the water, a bridge collapses, whatever. If it's not their gig then they will notify the appropriate response personnel. Plug it into your cell phone under "oh shit" ... it might come in handy some day.

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Panama Canal Will Open Dam Gates To Dump Excess Water

WeatherThe Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced on Friday to communities located on the banks of rivers and reservoirs of the waterway, they will open two gates at the Gatun Dam to pour off excess water, due to the heavy rains that have occurred in the hydrographic basin of the Canal. The ACP said in a press release that the Gatun and Alhajuela reservoirs remain at peak levels of operation. They explained they will sound warning sirens located downstream when the gates are about to be opened to alert the communities. The region of the watershed of the Panama Canal is under the influence of a zone of instability associated with a cold front and the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which is causing heavy rains, especially in the area of Lake Gatun. On 11 December last year there was a similar water dumping operation. (Prensa)

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Dry Season Almost Here - Be On The Lookout For Migrating Penguins...

Weather By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Well, it's 15 December 2011. And with that date normally we here in Panama are starting to experience the start of the dry season - called "verano" (summer) by the local Panamanians. However this year there are still "La Niña" ENSO conditions in effect in the equatorial Pacific ocean. As a result New Zealand is getting hit with flooding rains, as well as many parts of Colombia. It's raining right now as I write this - which by itself is somewhat unusual for mid-December in Panama. We had La Niña conditions all last year as well, so whatever happened last year will probably happen this year as well. Anyway, you might want to be on the lookout for another strange phenomenon - flying, migrating penguins who will be coming up to Panama as documented in this video by BBC...

Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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"La Purisima" Rains of December 2010 Caused 500+ Mudslides in Three Days

Weather The rains that fell between 7 - 9 December 2010 caused more than 500 landslides in the upper reservoir of Lake Alajuela, in the Watershed of the Panama Canal. The historic amounts of rainfall, known by local residents in the areas surrounding the Chagres National Park as "La Purisima" because it usually happens within five days of Mother's Day, caused the Panama Canal to be closed for 17 hours - only the fourth suspension of canal traffic in history - and significantly affected the supply of drinking water being produced by the Federico Guardia Conte water purification plant in Chilibre. Reports from the Management of Water Resources of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) state a significant number of mudslides occurred in the area of ​​the Lake Alajuela during those days, despite the fact that 84.3% of the area is covered by mature forest. The ACP records indicate that between 1998 and 2007 in the watershed that feeds Lake Alajuela there were 544 landslides. Currently a researcher from the National Geology Service of the United States is working with the support of the ACP using "geo referenced" images to identify and count the exact number of landslides that occurred in early December 2010, and photographically they have identified more than 500 mudslides. This means in just 3 days there were more mudslides than what had occurred in the previous ten years, combined.

The manager of the Water Resources section of the ACP, Jorge Espinosa, said "La Purisima" is the strongest storm in the recorded history of the Panama Canal. He added that the greatest amount of sediments reaching the Watershed of the Panama Canal are produced in the upper sub basin of Lake Alajuela. Preliminary studies indicate landslides originated in the mountainous areas with steep slopes, where there were high rainfall intensities and less deforestation.

Espinosa explained that "La Purisima" was caused by three factors: a stationary front, a low pressure system and winds from the West Indies. These weather conditions resulted a rainfall of "788 squared millimeters" of water in 24 hours. That's an equivalent of 788 liters of water per square meter, establishing a record, according to reports from one of the stations of the Chagres. But the collection of data from the ACP realizes that the average rainfall in 24 hours did not exceed 284.8 mm, said Espinosa.

These heavy rains led to the discharge, on 8 December 2010, of 149,595 cubic feet of water per second from the Madden Dam, a flow with which you could fill three Olympic sized swimming pools (each 50 meters long and 25 meters wide) in just two seconds. Since the inauguration of the Panama Canal on 14 August 1914 storms have been responsible for the suspension of ship traffic on just four occasions. These storms were 20 - 24 October 1923, 7 - 9 November 1931, 27 - 28 November 1932, and 7 - 9 December 2010.

Analysis of the National Geology Service of the United States have indicated mudslides occur in all areas where there are mountain slopes of 20 degrees or more and where rainfall was above 200 mm. In Panama, 90% of the mountain slopes in the upper part of the Lake Alajuela reservoir are of 35 degrees, which was another component that caused the lake to be full of sediment, said Espinosa.

During the rains of December 2010, Gatun Lake reached 88.36 feet, forcing the ACP to open the five valves of the spillways at the Gatun and Pedro Miguel locks. Given this, the ACP is studying options to overcome the current limitations of the Canal, which includes increasing the current capacity of Gatun spillway, said the manager of Water Resources. A new landfill is under design, but is expected to be ready between 2014 and 2015. The construction of new landfill is not part of the canal expansion, but rather structural improvements that are required. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Holy smokes. More than 500 mudslides in just three days? More than in all of the past ten years combined? No wonder the water treatment plant at Chilibre was overwhelmed. And remember, those "scars" are still exposed to the elements. Heavy rains will wash more sediments into the lake from those exposed areas, causing "turbidity" in the raw source water.

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Weather Experts Predict No Dry Season This Year Due To La Niña

WeatherIntense and moderate rains during the months of December and January was the weather forecast for Panama and Central American countries presented at the Climate Forum held in Mexico. According to the forecast, the rains during the next two months will have values ​​above normal. Showers of long and short term will remain in the areas located on the Pacific slope, said the report. The study reveals that even in the month of February, which generally corresponds to the dry season, rainfall will occur intermittently. The Phenomenon of La Niña and the passage of cold fronts will cause the dry season to come two months late, concluded experts meeting in Mexico.

PRECIPITATION WILL CONTINUE TODAY - Rainfall that remained yesterday in much of the day will continue today intermittently. Jesus Salazar, Department of Synoptic Meteorology of the Electricity Transmission Company (ETESA), explained that these rains are caused by a cold front passing through the Caribbean coast. He added that in the capital city rainfall will be moderate to intense, while in the Eastern part of the province of Panama it will be lighter. In the province of Bocas del Toro and along the "Upper Coast" of Colon there will be strong rains. In recent days, the rains that have fallen on Panama City and the rest of the country have caused floods in western Panama, Panama East and in the province of Colon, as well as landslides and damages to homes, with many victims. (Siglo)

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Heavy Fog Causes Flight Cancellations At Albrook Airport

WeatherOn Monday morning several parts of Panama City were covered in fog, which caused the suspension of flights at the Marcos A. Gelabert airport located in Albrook. According to reports from the direction of the airport, flights destined for Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, and the district of Kuna Yala were suspended. Several users reported the presence of fog, which is unusual but not impossible in areas such as the Southern Corridor, El Dorado, Cerro Ancon, and the Coastal Strip, among others. Once the sun came up the fog was dissipated. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: A heavy fog like that in the area of Panama City is relatively unusual.

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